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Kayla Marque
Kayla Marque
Jake Holschuh

Celebrating 25 Years of the Westword Music Showcase: Kayla Marque

On June 29, we'll present our 25th Westword Music Showcase. The event has grown dramatically since it was founded in 1995 with just a handful of bands playing around LoDo. In 2019, more than 75 local acts will fill venues throughout the Golden Triangle, while national headliners CHVRCHES, Jai Wolf, JAUZ, Bishop Briggs, Crooked Colours, lovelytheband, the Knocks, the Wrecks and SHAED will play the two main stages.

Many of the artists who have participated in the Showcase have gone on to worldwide success, while others continue to perform for loyal local audiences. And some have cashed in and left music altogether.

Kayla Marque comes from a long line of Denver musicians. As a solo artist and with her band, she writes and performs stirring songs. While she prefers to avoid genre labels, her sound is influenced by folk, soul, hip-hop, indie rock and R&B. We recently caught up with Marque to ask about her experiences playing the Westword Music Showcase and her thoughts about Denver's music scene.

Westword: What memories and stories do you have of playing Westword Music Showcase?

One of my favorite memories actually is three years ago, when the power went out! Haha! I was with my full band, and we were on the guitar solo of our second song, and the whole block went out. Sounds awful, but it turned out really cool. I just had everyone get comfortable on the floor, and I finished the set completely unplugged. It was intimate and unforgettable for me!

How has your own band evolved since playing Showcase?

I have evolved and grown so much as a person and an artist since my very first [Showcase] set. I'm recording album number two, and I think I can say I've found a sound that is as weird and authentic as I am. I can't wait for people to hear the new sound!

Denver's music scene has changed a lot over the past 25 years. What are your thoughts on its evolution?

Denver has changed in many ways over the years, and I am happy to have festivals that celebrate the amazing artists that make up this community. The progression of diversity and inclusivity is good to see. I hope to see more of that.

The 25th Westword Music Showcase will sound off in the Golden Triangle on Saturday, June 29. Get tickets and more details at westwordshowcase.com.

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